We’re taking a moment from our current stop in Monroe, North Carolina to pause and reflect on the work of the CAF Red Tail Squadron. We spend countless hours on the road hauling around the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to encourage and inspire people of all ages wherever we go. But why is this still so important, 65+ years after the Tuskegee Airmen took to the skies?
Seeing the glimmer of excitement in a child’s eye when they see our P-51C Mustang close enough to reach out and touch. Understanding the swell of pride in a veteran’s heart as they stroll through our exhibit or watch the RISE ABOVE movie. Explaining to a high school student what it meant for these Airmen to persevere in the face of daunting adversity, guided by the courage and love of our great country.
These are the moments that we witness time and again on our travels, and they illustrate that the work of the CAF Red Tail Squadron is not only making an impression, but making a difference. The brave men who not only risked their lives defending our freedom - but fought an uphill battle just to do so - will continue to teach us lessons for generations to come.
As each year takes us farther from those perilous WWII air combat missions, we must continue to remember and learn from the strength, integrity and determination of the pilots and crew of the Tuskegee Airmen. For there are children to inspire, men and women of our armed services to honor, and a generation of young people who can and will embrace justice and equality for all.